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Philippine Embassy Berne Chargé d’Affaires Margarita Ibayan welcomes the conference participants.

Charge d’Affaires Ibayan, Ms. Wenk and Prof. Werlen respond to comments and questions of conference participants.

University of Berne Conference Re-Discovers
the Philippines from Different Perspectives

“Philippines in Perspectives,” a conference to raise awareness and appreciation of the richness of Filipino culture and society, was held last 14 May 2011 at the University of Berne, in Berne, Switzerland.

Presenting the different perspectives on the Philippines were Labor Attaché Manuel Imson of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations (Geneva), Ms. Irina Wenk of the Institute of Social Anthropology of the University of Zurich, and Prof. Iwar Werlen, the head of the Linguistics Institute at Berne University.

Mr. Imson talked on “Aspects of Philippine Migration” by presenting the history of Philippine migration, its socio-economic impact on Philippine society, and the Philippine Government’s support mechanisms that protect the welfare of Filipino migrants all over the world.

Ms. Wenk’s “From Prejudice and Displacement Towards A Self-Determined Future” elaborated on indigenous land rights and the impact of the 1997 Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) of the Philippines on the rights and cultural identity of indigenous peoples.

Dr. Werlen, in his talk “The Philippine Languages and the Notion of a National Language P/Filipino,” gave an overview on the evolution of Philippine languages and dialects, and how these shaped the Filipinos’ multi-lingual /multi-cultural identity.

The conference was participated in by a heterogeneous group of Filipino, Swiss and Swiss-Filipino students, professionals and researchers, totaling around 50.

The event was organized by the Network of Integrated Pinoys or Noi-P, a
network of young Filipino-Swiss professionals based in Switzerland, with the support of the Philippine Embassy in Berne.

As noted by Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Margarita S. Ibayan in her welcome address to the participants, the conference will certainly deepen understanding and relations between the peoples of the Philippines and Switzerland.

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